|Our audience, not long before going on.|
Although a relatively local gig to me, as someone who lives on a narrowboat, I wanted to do it properly and take my floating home with me, and this meant something like an evening (Wednesday) plus an entire day (Thursday) to get there. It was well worth the relative "dash" to experience the festival properly.
Saturday morning meant an early start though to get over to Sandbach, to Emma and Vincent (the van) to visit various corners of Staffordshire and Cheshire to pick up band members and instruments, thankfully we could guarantee the quality of a great PA and sound engineering from Nick Bayes so didn't need the full load-in we normally do. With memories of playing in torrential rain and strong winds the previous year, but nevertheless to a packed audience, we had no doubt the Middlewich lot would give us a good time in this much more summery conditions. To be honest our time away did show, a little rusty here and there but we played with gusto and had a great time, the lovely Middlewich Festival crowd did to, they never let us down! We must also say a massive thanks to Andrew Tranter again of the superb Alt-Folk outfit Headsticks for hosting the stage.
On Saturday night I played a little, solo and jammed along with a load of great musicians at a traditional back-room get-together which included some great young fiddle players including Eddie Ogle and one of the guys from the folk act, Blue Horizon (I tried to find them on facebook and elsewhere on the internet, but there are so many organisations and bands of the same name I ended up giving up, can anyone help me here?). This went on until getting on for 3.30am before realising I had to make a very early start on Sunday morning to get the boat back to base!
Sadly all these happy memories of the event were marred in no small way by the revelation that a close friend's boat had been destroyed by fire (almost certainly in an arson attack) plus I later found out about the passing away of someone very close to a previous organiser of the event. Very sad.
|Hayley, photo by Stephanie Burgess-Arteaga.|
|Emma, photo by Stephanie Burgess-Arteaga.|
|Me, photo by Stephanie Burgess-Arteaga.|
|An as-ever smiley Simon, photo by Stephanie Burgess-Arteaga.|
|My "hotel room" view!|
|Some mini-festival goers!|
|A Chap, a very nice one too, I just had to take his photo.|
This festival attracts some very quirky, intelligent, individuals.
This guy says it gets more and more magical every year.
I think he might be right.